Yandex NV (NASDAQ:YNDX), a Russian internet company, announced today that it acquired KitLocate, an Israeli-based startup that develops energy-efficient geo-location technology for mobile devices.
Yandex did not disclose the terms of the acquisition agreement, but it said that the KitLocate team had already joined Yandex as employees.
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According to Yandex NV (NASDAQ:YNDX), the KitLocate’s technology can be used in mobile applications and is based on statistical analysis. The technology is useful in determining the right services for users at the right location and right time based on data regarding their movements.
In addition, the technology allows location-based apps to request the geographic coordinates of mobile devices via GPS or GLONASS less frequently, which saves battery power.
Yandex NV (NASDAQ:YNDX) said KitLocate is already popular in several markets. For example, the technology is used in certain applications such as finding parking spaces and payment services by IsraCard. KitLocate’s clients ranges from fellow startups to large companies.
In 2012, KitLocate received the Israel Advanced Technology Industries (IATI) Award and MasterCard Israel Technology Award. Yandex NV (NASDAQ:YNDX) plans to distribute KitLocate tech internationally.
The Russian internet company also intends to improve its own services including mobile search personalization and targeted advertising using KitLocate’s tech.
According to Yandex NV (NASDAQ:YNDX), it has been working with startups and seeking talent globally. The company has made several acquisitions and investments in approximately a dozen startups over the past few years.
In 2010, Yandex NV (NASDAQ:YNDX) purchased Face.com, another Israeli start-up that develops facial recognition technology. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) bought Yandex’s stake in Face.com in June 2012.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) provided limited details about the Face.com acquisition. The social network giant said, “People who use Facebook enjoy sharing photos and memories with their friends, and Face.com’s technology has helped to provide the best photo experience. This transaction simply brings a world-class team and a long-time technology vendor in house.”
Facebook blocks Yandex social search app
In January of last year, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) blocked Wonder, Yandex NV (NASDAQ:YNDX)’s social search app to show that it is aggressive in implementing its policy and protecting its data. Wonder is designed to combine its own search algorithms with data from Facebook, Instagram, FourSquare and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR).